Today's Must Read comes from Joseph Stiglitz
Steve Clemons argues for a more empathetic foreign policy
Matt Yglesias adds:
I think this is where the prospects for liberal/realist synthesis really come into view. At its best, realism isn’t just cynicism, it’s a recognition of the important reality that other countries have their own real and perceived interests and that effective US foreign policy needs to take that into account. And at its worst, the liberal humanitarian impulse becomes less about actually helping other than about appropriating vaguely high-minded rhetoric to mass an agenda of arrogance (see e.g., Max Boot’s paen to the virtues of imperialism). Productive synthesis between this impulses can be a guide to good policy, and the useful corrective in both cases is empathy — the idea that others’ point of view should be taken seriously.
The Energy / Environment team is shaping up well
Daschle was officially appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services / White House "Health-Czar" today. Ezra Klein has two interesting posts on this...
First, here's the Obama-Daschle connection (their ties run deep)
And here's his smart summary of today's press conference.
An interview with David Plouffe
Obama is tainted!!! Survey the ridiculous innuendo here, here, here and here
Rahm Emaneul's inbox:
Meet Malcolm Gladwell
Meet Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly
NASA (of all places) seems to have become a problem for the Obama transition team
The Obama people are worried the economy may get much, much worse before it gets better
The Obama team wants MLK day to be a day of service:
An inspiring video on the Tuskegee Airmen
Obama wrestling with intelligence cabinet picks:
Sources say that Obama's team is having trouble finding a potential CIA director who lacks politically incriminating links to controversial Bush Administration policies and yet commands the respect of the agency's rank and file.
A sad commentary.
TPM has an intersting interview with Harprer's Scott Horton on the torture issue:
Democrats, myself included, tended to see Afghanistan as the war we should have fought, and that we should return our attention to. Now that the election is over a number of smart people are wondering if sending more troops there is really a good idea. Having recently watched this excellent Frontline piece I can understand the concern.
This TNR piece as well as this HuffPo piece suggest Afghanistan could easily turn into our next clusterfuck, and undo the Obama Presidency if he isn't careful. (Joe Klein at Time Mag also weighs in.)
Gates plans to make changes at Defense: see here and here
End of year lists time:
The Nation considers "pragmatism"
I can't wait to see Frost/Nixon. Here are a couple intersting articles on the film:
Quote of the day:
An unnamed White House official, quoted in today's Times, describing Bush administration efforts to get home foreclosure relief: "It's become clear that if you stick your head up, it'll get cut off. We're done in two months. The next administration can try to find a way out of that maze."